Is Kratom Addictive?

is kratom addictive

If you are asking yourself, “Is kratom addictive?”, you likely are already using it or know someone who is. Kratom isn’t well-known across the country yet, but it definitely has made its way into the lives of those who use it for the narcotic effect it provides. Like with any drug that a person abuses or becomes addicted to, it becomes necessary to seek addiction treatment in order to overcome it. 

What Is Kratom?

While kratom may not be known by everyone yet, this drug has become more popular over time. Derived from the leaves of a tropical tree native to the Southeast Asia area, it causes a psychotropic reaction when someone ingests it. This is similar to that experienced when a person uses opioid or stimulant drugs. Kratom is classified as a mind-altering substance and is not recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as having any valid use. While not yet illegal in this country, many countries have outlawed it, and it is considered a “drug of concern” here. 

Kratom can be taken in many manners, including smoking it, mixing it into a tea or other drink, eating it, or swallowing it in pill form. Kratom can be purchased as a street drug from illegal sources, often known by slang such as ketum, thang, thom, and kakuam. it is also commonly found for sale on the internet. Often sold as a powder, extract, or gum, it can be deceivingly sold as a herbal or dietary supplement. At this time, no government or other agency monitors the production, packaging, or sales of kratom on the internet. This means any product sold could be contaminated or combined with dangerous or deadly other products. 

Is Kratom Addictive?

Due to the fact that kratom is not yet classified as an illegal drug in America, many people believe the answer to “Is kratom addictive?” must be no. Many risks are associated with the use and abuse of kratom, and the potential for becoming addicted to it is one of the points of concern. 

Studies being done on the subject are still in the early stages, but because kratom is considered a drug of concern, more studies continue to be conducted. Once a more definitive answer to the question of
“Is kratom addictive?” is determined, it is likely that it may be ruled illegal in the U.S. and its classification as a drug reassigned.

Even if a person does not become addicted to kratom, they risk the possibility of becoming dependent on it in terms of feeling a psychological craving to use it continually. Those who do become dependent on or addicted to kratom begin to rely on deriving feelings of pleasure, joy, and euphoria from using it. This effect is similar to that which comes with using and abusing opioid drugs. The brain no longer naturally produces feel-good chemicals like endorphins and instead begins to rely on kratom to induce them. When a person stops taking kratom, withdrawal symptoms begin.

Some of the common signs of kratom addiction include experiencing euphoria when using it and relying on it in order to feel happiness or joy. Many also experience an increase in energy levels, difficulty sleeping, and becoming very animated and talkative. Other symptoms of kratom addiction include weight loss, difficulty thinking, hallucinations, and seizures. Many people also combine the use of kratom with other substances, such as alcohol, fentanyl, heroin, and other opioid drugs.

Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms

Someone who becomes addicted to kratom may not know addiction has developed. Nevertheless, they usually experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. Common ones the person may feel include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness 
  • Flu-like symptoms, including runny nose and watery eyes
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Body aches and pains
  • Sweating
  • Cravings to use the drug

Many people also experience psychological withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, depression, irritability, and aggressiveness.

Depending on how long a person has taken kratom and their typical dosage, symptoms may begin within 12 to 48 hours of the last time they used the drug. Symptoms last an average of three to five days.

How Is Addiction to Kratom Treated?

When kratom is addictive to a person, they need to enter a drug rehab program similar to those that treat people with addictions to several other kinds of substances. Treatment for substance use disorders typically starts with going to detox. The person receives medical and psychological support that helps ease withdrawal symptoms that may occur and allows them to cleanse their body of any toxins from the drug. 

From there, they may need a residential program. For others, particularly if the addiction has not been going on for a long time, outpatient care can provide the right next step. Outpatient services can include many types of therapy that help the individual understand why they developed an addiction. From there, they can learn how to leave kratom abuse in their past and enjoy living a sober life.

Treatment for Kratom Addiction

While just about everyone has heard of drugs like cocaine and heroin, many don’t realize that a lesser-known drug can cause a real health problem. Is kratom addictive and do you need help getting off it? If this is the case, Tampa Bay Recovery can provide effective treatment that puts you back in the driver’s seat. You can choose from different types of outpatient programs that let you receive valuable addiction treatment during the day while living at home. 

Take a look at our admissions page and see how easy and quick it is to get started on treating your addiction.